Whole Living Daily

G-Free Friday: Gluten-Free Thin Mints (Yes, Just Like the Girl Scout Ones!)

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It's Friday, which means it's time for a gluten-free recipe!

As Girl Scout Cookie season nears, us gluten-free eaters need not feel left out: This riff on the familiar green box of Thin Mints will bring back memories of your youth in no time. Be sure to read the notes at the bottom of this recipe for short-cuts and tips. Enjoy!

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1 Mixing dry ingredients.

2 If the dough seems dry at this point, just add a Tbsp of water (up to 3) until it seems moist enough.

3 Arrange cookies 1/2-inch apart on the parchment-lined cookie sheet.

4 Use a fork to dip the cookies into dark chocolate.

5 The finished product!

6 Make sure to let them cool for at least 30 minutes.

Gluten-Free, Whole-Grain, Egg-Free, and Dairy-Free Thin Mints

Adapted from Gluten-Free Baking by Rebecca Reilly

Makes about 48 small cookies

For cookies:

1 1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup + 3 heaping Tbsp dark cocoa blend
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
½ cup organic shortening
4 Tbsp cold water
¼ cup honey or agave
1 tsp peppermint extract or flavoring
¼ cup tapioca flour, for rolling the dough

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the shortening and incorporate with a pastry cutter or fork. Stir in the water, honey, and peppermint mint extract, until pea-size crumbs form. Knead dough gently until it comes together in a ball. If it seems dry, add 2 to 3 Tbsp more water. Dough should be pliable like play-doh, not sticky. (If dough does seem sticky, dust with a bit of tapioca flour, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.)

Roll dough 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick (depending on your preference) on parchment dusted with the tapioca flour. Cut into circles using a small lid or cookie cutter. Arrange on the prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies 1/2-inch apart.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes; let cool completely on baking sheet as they ‘crisp’.

For Chocolate Coating:

2 to 3 cups dark (60 percent or more cocoa) chocolate chips
1 to 2 tsp peppermint extract or flavoring

Line a baking sheet or two with parchment.

Melt chocolate (you may want more or less, depending on your preference). Remove from heat and stir in peppermint extract, to taste. For a thick chocolate layer, dip cookies in chocolate using a fork to lower each, then tap the fork against the inside of the bowl to remove chocolate.

Let coated cookies dry on parchment-lined sheets until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Save time by freezing the baking sheets.

Notes, tips, and short-cuts:
- I do not recommended refrigerating this dough for more than 24 hours; it dries out. It can be revived with a bit of water, but it's not ideal.
- If you eat dairy, butter (brought to room temperature) may be used in place of the shortening.
- Dark cocoa produces darker chocolate cookies. Jet black cocoa (ultra-Dutched cocoa) is available at gourmet and specialty shops. Alternatively, you can use regular cocoa powder, but it will result in a lighter-colored cookie.
- If you'd like to skip rolling the dough, simply divide it, roll into two logs, and slice into 1/8-inch discs. Bake as directed.
- If you prefer less chocolate on the cookies, or a quicker way to coat them, dip only the tops of the cookies. Or use a pastry brush to brush the cookies with melted chocolate.

Jennifer bakes her gluten-free heart out on her blog, The Cinnamon Quill, and maintains the gluten-free recipe online database Gluten Free Feed.

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